“You talk about sharing of information like, ‘Oh, we just share information,’” Kimberlydawn Wisdom says to Frederick Cerise, President and CEO for Parkland Health and Hospital System. “You made it seem so smooth.”
Information sharing is not so smooth, however, at least not at the start. Wisdom, who is Chief Wellness and Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President for Community Health and Equity at Henry Ford Health System, points to challenges such as establishing business agreements and navigating privacy laws like HIPAA and FERPA.
How did Parkland get to a point of sharing information with the public? “It’s work. There’s no doubt about it,” Cerise says. He explains that Parkland is a year into this project but that it took a couple of years of planning to get to that point. Yes, there is legal and compliance, but “you can work through that,” he says.
Partnerships and community trust are key. “We found a good partner that took a leap with us, a big, multipurpose social service place that has a food pantry, and clothing, and it’s affiliated with some of the churches,” Cerise says. And the partnership gained momentum from there. “You have to figure it out, work through it, and then it just kind of grows on its own,” he says. “We’re working with other communities to share that information, as well.”
“One of the things I love about [Parkland Health and Hospital System],” Cerise adds, “is [that] we have the public trust. The public wants us to do that sort of thing; they invest in us to do that. We’re able to look and see where those areas of need where you can make an impact are and then we can spend some time and resources to try to develop that.”
From the NEJM Catalyst event Essentials of High-Performing Organizations, held at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, July 25, 2018.